UNBEARABLE: Sorry, but Google isn’t a substitute for an education

Doing Google "research" doesn't make you an expert.
Doing Google "research" doesn't make you an expert.

I guess we can do away with schools because the internet is apparently much better at breeding geniuses.

At least it seems that way. There are so many people saying they’ve done their "research” on some contentious issue and they know the “truth”.

In this case “research” doesn’t mean trudging down to the library and flicking through thick books (yeah, books. Remember those?) filled with tiny, tiny print or, you know, asking an expert.

Oh no, it means calling up Google, typing in a question and then accepting without question whatever whackjob theories get thrown back in their faces.

And, voila, they become instant geniuses.

See, who needs an education when you have an internet connection?

Funnily enough, it’s exactly those people who latch onto conspiracy theories like vaccines cause autism, 9/11 was an inside job, Obama is bugging Donald Trump’s phone line and whatever the hell chemtrails are who need a bit of education.

For it seems staggeringly obvious that they lack the knowledge or ability to step back and impartially assess the source of whatever information they’ve dredged up from the stinking bowels of the internet (and yes, I mean “bowels” in both senses of the word).

Intelligence includes the ability to judiciously weigh up information –  whether or not it fits your own prejudices –  and decide which is genuine and which is biased.

It doesn’t include the ability to keep searching through pages and pages of Google results until you find something that validates what you already thought.

If someone stuffed a crumpled-up piece of paper featuring a badly-scrawled rant about a topic through your letterbox (yeah,letters. Remember those?), you're not likely to put much stock in it.

Yet so much of the internet is the online equivalent of that letter.

And both of them belong in the bin.

This story UNBEARABLE: Sorry, but Google isn’t a substitute for an education first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.